Of Maps and Monsters, the Right way to Populate a World Part I

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Ebstorf Map by Gervase of Ebstorf
Ebstorf Map by Gervase of Ebstorf

Contents

Notes

This work is the beginning of a collection of notes on Monsters and Maps. In the future I will split this out into several different sections. I wanted to start wtih what I had here and start working my thoughts out while getting some of this out of my head and into a place I can review and look at.

Maps

Encounter Scale (5 feet per hex / square )

TODO: Convert to DCC Rules.

Type of Terrain The Wild Woodland Deep Forest Ruins Caves Atmosphere Weather
Ancient dyke       x      
Birdsong           x  
Black toadstools     x        
Bog x x          
Bracken   x   x      
Cliffs x       x    
Covered pit       x      
Crags, rocky outcrops (defensible rocks),huge boulders x       x    
Dust       x      
Fallen statue, old walls, statue, giant fallen statue head       x      
Fallen tree, pile of timber   x          
Flooded pit     x        
Foundations       x      
Freezing cold, torrential downpour, blizzard             x
Freezing pool         x    
Gale, strong wind             x
Impenetrable hedge of tree limbs   x x        
Incessant buzzing of insects           x  
Lone trees, boulders x            
Low boughs   x          
Low ceilings         x    
Mossy masonry, root-covered wall   x          
Mud x x          
Narrow walls         x    
Nettle bank or briar patch x x   x      
Old floors       x      
Partial and collapsed floors, stairs, broken stairs       x      
Passable hedge of tree limbs   x          
Path, deer track   x          
Pillar       x      
Pit       x      
Poison nettles, black briars     x        
Poisonous fumes     x        
Puddles, slimy floor, slippery floor         x    
Queer sounds, dead silence, an unsettling atmosphere, an eerie humming sound, disturbing echoes           x  
Ravines x            
River shallows, stream, flood water x            
Roar of water           x  
Rock edges x       x    
Rock pillar         x    
Rocky floor, tiny stalagmites, pool, rubbish-strewn floor, shale floor         x    
Roots     x        
Rotten Trees     x        
Rubble       x      
Scattered rocks, moorland heather, small streams x            
Slope         x    
Sloping terrain x x x        
Sucking bog     x        
Terrible stench, the scent of death           x  
Thick fog, smoke, eerie mist             x
Thick trunked trees   x          
Thicket x x          
Unstable stalactites         x    
Unstable walls       x      
Warm golden sun, slanting rays of golden light, the sun breaks through the clouds             x
Webs     x x      
Windowed walls       x      

Ancient dyke

“Stumps and dead boughs were rotting in the shallows, the remains it seemed of old thickets, or of a hedge that had once lined the road across the drowned valley. But close under the cliff there stood, still strong and living, two tall trees, larger than any trees of holly that Frodo had ever seen or imagined. Their great roots spread from the wall to the water. Under the looming cliffs they had looked like mere bushes, when seen far off from the top of the Stair; but now they towered overhead, stiff, dark, and silent, throwing deep night-shadows about their feet, standing like sentinel pillars at the end of the road.”

Long overgrown, this ancient fortification still stands as an obstacle or a useful defensive feature.

DCC D&D 5e
A shallow sloping dyke provides creatures on the higher ground with +1 die on attack rolls. A shallow sloping dyke provides creatures on the higher ground with Advantage on attack rolls.
A steep sloping dyke additionally inflicts -1 die on attack rolls to creatures on the lower ground. A steep sloping dyke additionally inflicts Disadvantage on attack rolls to creatures on the lower ground.

Birdsong

“The spouse of Oromë is Vána, the Ever-young; she is the younger sister of Yavanna. All flowers spring as she passes and open if she glances upon them; and all birds sing at her coming.”

The singing of thrushes, blackbirds, can lighten the most burdened heart.

DCC D&D 5e
Creatures considered good are heartened in the presence of birdsong. They gain +1d3 Luck. Creatures considered good are heartened in the presence of birdsong. They gain Inspiration.

Black toadstools

Growing in clumps on the ground, these toadstools release poisonous spores if kicked.

DCC D&D 5e
Any creature crossing an area of these toadstools must make a DC 10 Dexterity check. If they fail they are considered Poisoned. Any creature crossing an area of these toadstools must make a DC 10 Dexterity check. If they fail they are considered Poisoned.
Alternatively, another species of toadstool inflicts the Blinded condition for ten minutes. Alternatively, another species of toadstool inflicts the Blinded condition for ten minutes.

Bog

“In a chill hour they came to the end of the water-course. The banks became moss-grown mounds. Over the last shelf of rotting stone the stream gurgled and fell down into a brown bog and was lost. Dry reeds hissed and rattled though they could feel no wind. On either side and in front wide fens and mires now lay, stretching away southward and eastward into the dim half-light. Mists curled and smoked from dark and noisome pools. The reek of them hung stifling in the still air. Far away, now almost due south, the mountain-walls of Mordor loomed, like a black bar of rugged clouds floating above a dangerous fog-bound sea.”

Deeper than simple mud, a bog – whether formed of marshy peat, a flooded river or torrential rain – presents a challenging battleground.

DCC D&D 5e
Boggy areas count as difficult terrain (halve movement). Boggy areas count as difficult terrain (halve movement).
Creatures lose enough strength and enough staminia to reduce their modifiers by one point for every three rounds they fight in a bog. Creatures gain one level of exhaustion for every three rounds they fight in a bog.

Bracken

“Besides, at the end of a long night-march, and after bathing and drinking, he felt even more hungry than usual. A supper, or a breakfast, by the fire in the old kitchen at Bagshot Row was what he really wanted. An idea struck him and he turned to Gollum. Gollum had just begun to sneak off on his own, and he was crawling away on all fours through the fern.”

Bracken are large ferns that grow in prodigious quantities in woodland climes, forming thick banks of foliage that are difficult, but not impossible, to cross.

DCC D&D 5e
Bracken areas count as difficult terrain (Movement halfed). Bracken areas count as difficult terrain (Movement Halfed).

Cliffs

“Now Turambar came to Nen Girith at sundown, and there he learned that Glaurung lay on the brink of the high shores of Teiglin, and was like to move when night fell. Then he called those tidings good; for the dragon lay at Cabed-en-Aras, where the river ran in a deep and narrow gorge that a hunted deer might overleap, and Turambar thought that he would seek no further, but would attempt to pass over the gorge. Therefore he purposed to creep down at dusk, and descend into the ravine under night, and cross over the wild water; and then to climb up the further cliff, and so come to the dragon beneath his guard.”

A vertical or nearly vertical rocky incline, a cliff is 10 feet high or more.

DCC D&D 5e
In combat, a cliff takes an entire movement action to climb per 10 feet of height. Climbers have a -2 to AC when suffering a ranged attack. In combat, a cliff takes an entire movement action to climb per 10 feet of height. Climbers have a -2 to AC when suffering a ranged attack.
Creatures at the top may use a shove action to push another creature off the cliff. Creatures at the top may use a shove action to push another creature off the cliff.

Covered pit

“In the pits of Sauron Beren and Felagund lay, and all their companions were now dead; but Sauron purposed to keep Felagund to the last, for he perceived that he was a Noldo of great might and wisdom, and he deemed that in him lay the secret of their errand. But when the wolf came for Beren, Felagund put forth all his power, and burst his bonds; and he wrestled with the werewolf, and slew it with his hands and teeth; yet he himself was wounded to the death.”

A stone-lined cistern or subterranean room whose ceiling has collapsed, leaving a pit in the ground. The pit is invisible through a growth of foliage. Creatures can hide in the covered pit. The pit provides total cover to creatures inside it. Once it has been uncovered, a shove action can be used to push adjacent creatures into the pit.

DCC D&D 5e
Falling into the covered pit inflicts falling damage for 20 feet, even if the pit isn’t that deep and requires a successful DC 10 Dexterity check to climb out. Falling into the covered pit inflicts falling damage for 20 feet, even if the pit isn’t that deep and requires a successful DC 10 Dexterity check to climb out.
Falling: Falling causes 1d6 damage per 10’ fallen. For every damage die that comes up a 6, the victim breaks a bone. For each broken bone, the character permanently loses 1 point of Strength or Agility (player’s choice). The affected limb, rib, or vertebrae never heals quite right and affects the char- acter in some fashion from then on. Falling: A fall from a great height is one of the most common hazards facing an adventurer. At the end of a fall, a creature takes 1d6 bludgeoning damage for every 10 feet it fell, to a maximum of 20d6. The creature lands prone, unless it avoids taking damage from the fall.

Crags, rocky outcrops (defensible rocks),huge boulders

“For Manwë to whom all birds are dear, and to whom they bring news upon Taniquetil from Middle-earth, had sent forth the race of Eagles, commanding them to dwell in the crags of the North, and to keep watch upon Morgoth; for Manwë still had pity for the exiled Elves. And the Eagles brought news of much that passed in those days to the sad ears of Manwë. Now, even as Fingon bent his bow, there flew down from the high airs Thorondor, King of Eagles, mightiest of all birds that have ever been, whose outstretched wings spanned thirty fathoms; and staying Fingon’s hand he took him up, and bore him to the face of the rock where Maedhros hung. But Fingon could not release the hell-wrought bond upon his wrist, nor sever it, nor draw it from the stone. Again therefore in his pain Maedhros begged that he would slay him; but Fingon cut off his hand above the wrist, and Thorondor bore them back to Mithrim.”

Whether brought here by giants in ancient days, or simply the tip of a subterranean mountain, boulders and craggy outcrops can provide a vital advantage in combat by allowing creatures to hide among or behind them.

DCC D&D 5e
Using an entire movement action to climb up onto these pieces of scenery gives defenders +1 die on attack rolls against creatures below them. The uncertain footing means no more than this can be gained. This is in addition to the +1 bonus of being above above the defender Using an entire movement action to climb up onto these pieces of scenery gives defenders advantage on attack rolls against creatures below them. The uncertain footing means no more than this can be gained.
Crags and rocky outcrops can also be used for total cover from ground level – creatures behind a huge boulder, crag or rocky outcrop cannot be targeted. Crags and rocky outcrops can also be used for total cover from ground level – creatures behind a huge boulder, crag or rocky outcrop cannot be targeted.
Creatures on top of this scenery gain +2 modifier to shove an opponent that is below and next to them. Shove: Each party makes opposed attack rolls, adding the higher of their Agility or Strength modifier. An attacker twice the opponent’s size adds +4 to the opposed roll; an attacker triple the opponent’s size adds +8 to the opposed roll; an attacker quadruple the opponent’s size adds +16 to the opposed roll; and so on. If the attacker wins the opposed roll, he has shoved his opponent back several feet. A warrior may use a mighty deed to attempt a pushback with their deed die and the +2 modifier. If the attacker loses the opposed roll, the shove fails. Creatures on top of this scenery gain +2 modifier to a shove action on opponents below.

Dust

“Then suddenly Morgoth sent forth great rivers of flame that ran down swifter than Balrogs from Thangorodrim, and poured over all the plain; and the Mountains of Iron belched forth fires of many poisonous hues, and the fume of them stank upon the air, and was deadly. Thus Ard-galen perished, and fire devoured its grasses; and it became a burned and desolate waste, full of a choking dust, barren and lifeless. Thereafter its name was changed, and it was called Anfauglith, the Gasping Dust.”

Long ages of mouldering stone work, gnawed by frost and wind, can be reduced to a powder. If disturbed, a cloud of dust fills the air.

DCC D&D 5e
Creatures who cross the area of the dust who fail to make a DC 10 Dexterity check suffer the Blinded condition until the end of their next turn. Creatures who cross the area of the dust who fail to make a DC 10 Dexterity check suffer the Blinded condition until the end of their next turn.

Fallen statue, old walls, statue, giant fallen statue head

“The brief glow fell upon a huge sitting figure, still and solemn as the great stone kings of Argonath. The years had gnawed it, and violent hands had maimed it. Its head was gone, and in its place was set in mockery a round rough-hewn stone, rudely painted by savage hands in the likeness of a grinning face with one large red eye in the midst of its forehead. Upon its knees and mighty chair, and all about the pedestal, were idle scrawls mixed with the foul symbols that the maggot-folk of Mordor used.”

A large statue, sturdy old walls, or fallen pieces of monumental masonry can provide cover from ranged attacks, as well as an elevated position from which to attack.

DCC D&D 5e
These ruins can provide cover to someone who is next to the ruin and can trace line of sight through the ruin. They may not be targeted for an attack and is completely concealed by the ruin at ground level. These ruins can provide total cover at ground level.
Using an entire movement action to climb up onto these pieces of scenery gives defenders +1 die on attack rolls against creatures below them. This is in addition to the +1 bonus of being above above the defender Using an entire movement action to climb up onto these pieces of scenery gives defenders advantage on attack rolls against creatures below them. The uncertain footing means no more than this can be gained.
Creatures on top of the statue gain +2 modifier to shove an opponent that is below and next to them. Shove: Each party makes opposed attack rolls, adding the higher of their Agility or Strength modifier. An attacker twice the opponent’s size adds +4 to the opposed roll; an attacker triple the opponent’s size adds +8 to the opposed roll; an attacker quadruple the opponent’s size adds +16 to the opposed roll; and so on. If the attacker wins the opposed roll, he has shoved his opponent back several feet. A warrior may use a mighty deed to attempt a pushback with their deed die and the +2 modifier. If the attacker loses the opposed roll, the shove fails. This does not stack with the advantage above. Creatures on a fallen statue gain +2 modifier to a shove action on opponents below. This does not stack with the advantage above.

Fallen tree, pile of timber

Woodman will clear forests of fallen lumber to let it dry our before they transport it back to their settlement for use. These piles of timber provide cover as well as provide an elevated position from with to attack. A large fallen tree can provide cover from Orkish darts, as well as an elevated position from which to attack.

DCC D&D 5e
This tree or pile of wood can provide cover to someone who is next to it and if they can trace line of sight through the it. They may not be targeted for an attack and is completely concealed by the the pile of wood at ground level. A fallen tree provides total cover at ground level.
Useing a full movement action allows a creature to climb onto a fallen tree, allowing +1 die on attack rolls while they are in the tree. Jumping down is a part of normal movement. Use of a full movement action allows a creature to climb onto a fallen tree, allowing Advantage on attack rolls as long as they stay on the tree. Jumping down is considered normal movement.
Creatures on a tree trunk gain +2 modifier to shove an opponent that is below and next to them.
Shove: Each party makes opposed attack rolls, adding the higher of their Agility or Strength modifier. An attacker twice the opponent’s size adds +4 to the opposed roll; an attacker triple the opponent’s size adds +8 to the opposed roll; an attacker quadruple the opponent’s size adds +16 to the opposed roll; and so on. If the attacker wins the opposed roll, he has shoved his opponent back several feet. A warrior may use a mighty deed to attempt a pushback with their deed die and the +2 modifier. If the attacker loses the opposed roll, the shove fails. This does not stack with the advantage above.
Creatures on a fallen statue gain +2 modifier to a shove action on opponents below. This does not stack with the advantage above.

Foundations

Barely clearing the ground cover, these stone blocks can make movement difficult. They usually form linear features, with some spread of tumbled masonry.

DCC D&D 5e
Moving through foundations counts as difficult terrain (half move through the foundations). Moving through foundations counts as difficult terrain (half move through the foundations).

Flooded pit

A deep pit full of brackish water is covered in a blanket of fallen leaves, rendering it invisible.

DCC D&D 5e
Any creature falling into the pit must make a DC 10 Stamina saving throw or gain one level of Exhaustion. Any creature falling into the pit must make a DC 10 Constitution saving throw or gain one level of Exhaustion.

Freezing cold, torrential downpour, blizzard

-“While they were halted, the wind died down, and the snow slackened until it almost ceased. They tramped on again. But they had not gone more than a furlong when the storm returned with fresh fury. The wind whistled and the snow became a blinding blizzard. Soon even Boromir found it hard to keep going. The hobbits, bent nearly double, toiled along behind the taller folk, but it was plain that they could not go much further, if the snow continued. Frodo’s feet felt like lead. Pippin was dragging behind. Even Gimli, as stout as any dwarf could be, was grumbling as he trudged.”-

DCC D&D 5e
Creatures without shelter from these weather conditions suffer -1 die for eac condition present to all their attack rolls and skill checks. These invasive weather conditions mean that creatures without shelter from them suffer Disadvantage to their attack rolls and ability checks.
All fires, torches, and lanterns that are not magical in nature will be extinguished this turn if it is not sheltered from these conditions All fires, torches, and lanterns that are not magical in nature will be extinguished this turn if it is not sheltered from these conditions

Freezing pool

Never warmed by the sun, a deep rock pool of frigid water is a dangerous place to fall.

DCC D&D 5e
Any creature crossing the pool must make a DC 10 Stamina Save. If they fail the creatures loses enough strength and enough staminia to reduce their modifiers by one point for every round the are in the pool. Any creature crossing the pool must make a DC 10 Constitution save. If they fail, they gain a level of Exhaustion.
A creature may take an action to shove a creature adjacent to the pool into it
Shove: Each party makes opposed attack rolls, adding the higher of their Agility or Strength modifier. An attacker twice the opponent’s size adds +4 to the opposed roll; an attacker triple the opponent’s size adds +8 to the opposed roll; an attacker quadruple the opponent’s size adds +16 to the opposed roll; and so on. If the attacker wins the opposed roll, he has shoved his opponent back several feet. A warrior may use a mighty deed to attempt a pushback with their deed die. If the attacker loses the opposed roll, the shove fails.
A shove action can be used to push a creature adjacent to the pool into it.

Gale, strong wind

DCC D&D 5e
Ranged attacks are are at -1 die to hit. Ranged attacks are made at Disadvantage.

Impenetrable hedge of tree limbs

It can be completely impractical to move through particularly thick woodland growth. Sharp twigs stab at the face, ivy binds boughs together, undergrowth piles up in a thick tangle between roots, and low hanging branches bar the way.

DCC D&D 5e
This area cannot be passed through during combat. This area cannot be passed through during combat.

Incessant buzzing of insects

DCC D&D 5e
Creatures affected have have a -1 die on ability checks and attack rolls until the insects are dealt with. Creatures affected have Disadvantage on ability checks and attack rolls until the insects are dealt with.

Lone trees, boulders

A lone tree makes a significant metaphor as well as a place to take cover from Orc arrows. Medium sized boulders covered with moss or spattered with lichen can also provide cover.

  • Creatures can hide among or behind them.

  • They offer three-quarters cover (+5 bonus to AC and Dexterity saving throws).

Low boughs

The great limbs of ancient trees curve close to the ground.

  • Ranged attacks through low boughs are made at Disadvantage, even at close range. Long range attacks cannot be made through low boughs.

  • Areas with low boughs can be crossed, but count as difficult terrain.

Low ceilings

The cavern was not formed with Big Folk in mind.

DCC D&D 5e
* All without the racial ability of Small Size (Halflings) suffering -1 die on all ability checks and attack rolls. All creatures of medium size or larger must crouch, suffering Disadvantage on all ability checks and attack rolls.

Mossy masonry, root-covered wall

Damp from long years under the canopy of leaves or needles, this ancient stonework is crumbling and water logged, or burdened with the slow creep of mighty roots.

DCC D&D 5e
Crouching behind an old wall provides cover (Defender is -2 to hit on attack roles for both Melee and Missle fire) Crouching behind an old wall provides half cover (+2 to AC and Dexterity saving throws).
Crumbling masonry is unsuitable for climbing on. Crumbling masonry is unsuitable for climbing on.

Mud

Thick mud underfoot can cause problems to combatants.

DCC D&D 5e
Creatures fighting in thick mud suffer -1 to attack rolls. Creatures fighting in thick mud suffer -1 to attack rolls.

Narrow walls

The walls of the cavern squeeze tightly together.

DCC D&D 5e
Anyone using a Two-Handed Weapon has a -1 die on all rolls Two-handed weapons impose Disadvantage.

Nettle bank or briar patch

-“The leaves were all thicker and greener about the edges of the glade, enclosing it with an almost solid wall. No tree grew there, only rough grass and many tall plants: stalky and faded hemlocks and wood-parsley, fire-weed seeding into fluffy ashes, and rampant nettles and thistles.”-

A significant bank of nettles or a briar patch can pose a serious obstacle to movement. While the stinging rash or tearing thorns are merely an inconvenience in the face of injury in combat, nettles and briars slow movement.

DCC D&D 5e
Nettles and briars can be crossed, but count as difficult terrain. Nettles and briars can be crossed, but count as difficult terrain.

Old floors

-“He felt that he was lying in a soft slimy bog, and springing up he set his foot on the corner of a cold hard flagstone. Then he remembered where he was and lay down again.”-

Flagstone laid in ages long past create uncertain and uneven footing – poor ground on which to make a stand.

DCC D&D 5e
Old floors count as difficult terrain (half move across the old floors). Old floors count as difficult terrain (half move across the old floors).

Partial and collapsed floors, stairs, broken stairs

One or more masonry ledges, each one to three feet high.

  • Moving up them halves movement; moving down has no penalty.

  • Attacking from a higher position gives Advantage on attack rolls.

Rubble

Creating uncertain and uneven footing, rubble flung across the battlefield can make movement difficult.

  • Rubble counts as difficult terrain (half move through the rubble).

  • Creatures can hide among large enough rubble.

Passable hedge of tree limbs

Dried and brittle, or composed of thin limbs easily broken, this kind of foliage can be pushed through with a struggle. It offers protection from ranged attacks, and can be somewhere to disappear.

  • The hedge counts as difficult terrain (halves movement).

  • The hedge provides half cover (+2 to AC and Dexterity saving throws).

  • The tangle of branches can be used to hide.

Path, deer track

A path cutting through other obstacles or terrain features offers free movement, but channels creatures in certain directions.

  • The path allows normal movement through other obstacles.

Pillar

A carved stone pillar stands long after its fellows have fallen.

  • Creatures can hide behind a stone pillar.

  • Stone pillars offer three-quarters cover (+5 bonus to AC and Dexterity saving throws).

Pit

A simple hole in the ground marks where some ancient cellar has collapsed.

  • Creatures can hide in a pit.

  • Being inside the pit offers total cover.

  • A shove action can be used to push adjacent creatures into the pit.

  • Falling into the pit inflicts 2d10 damage and requires a successful DC 10 Dexterity check to climb out.

Poison nettles, black briars

A swathe of evil-looking nettles or brambles.

  • Any creature attempting to cross must make a DC 10 Constitution saving throw or suffer 5 (1d10) slashing damage. Optionally, these may also inflict the Poisoned condition.

Poisonous fumes

Air so stagnant, so filled with the miasma of toadstools and rotting leaf mould, that it is dangerous to breathe in.

  • Creatures moving through the fume are considered Poisoned while in it, and for 1d6 rounds after they leave the fume.

Puddles, slimy floor, slippery floor

Whether the rock floor is polished to a shine by centuries of water flow, or still runs wet with muddy condensation, movement is difficult in this part of the cavern.

  • Slippery floors count as difficult terrain (half move across the wet area).

  • When creatures move onto the slippery floor, they must make a DC 9 Dexterity check. If they fail, they fall Prone.

Queer sounds, dead silence, an unsettling atmosphere, an eerie humming sound, disturbing echoes

  • Creatures considered good who fail a DC 10 Wisdom save have Disadvantage on ability checks and attack rolls. They may attempt another save at the end of their next turn.

Ravines

Ravines might be deep cracks in rocky ground or channels in peaty soil carved out by now-sunken streams.

  • Movement is prevented across them unless a successful Dexterity check (DC 13 or more) is made.

  • Creatures can hide within a ravine.

River shallows, stream, flood water

Broadly speaking, water flowing up to knee deep. These present difficult footing, and impedes movement.

  • These count as difficult terrain (half move through the watery terrain).

Rock edges

One or a series of rocky ledges, one to three feet high.

  • Moving up them halves movement; moving down them has no penalty.

  • Attacking from a higher position gives Advantage on attack rolls.

Rocky floor, tiny stalagmites, pool, rubbish-strewn floor, shale floor

These various obstacles make movement difficult.

  • They count as difficult terrain (half move through the affected area).

Rock pillar

A fused stalactite and stalagmite forms a large rocky pillar standing alone in a cavern.

  • Creatures can hide behind a rock pillar.

  • Rock pillars offer three-quarters cover (+5 bonus to AC and Dexterity saving throws).

Roots

Great tangles of roots cover the forest floor in parts of Mirkwood.

  • To cross the roots, creatures must make a DC 10 Dexterity check. If they fail, they are considered Prone.

Roar of water

  • Any creature in the affected area is considered to have the Deafened condition.

Rotten Trees

For long ages the great black trees in Mirkwood can stand dead, rotting away from the inside. If disturbed they fall, bringing their sodden weight of branches down on any not quick enough to leap aside.

  • If combat comes within 10 feet of a rotten tree, there is a 1 in 6 chance each round that it will fall, showering everyone within a 10-foot radius of the trunk with heavy branches or the trunk itself. Creatures within this radius suffer 5 (1d10) bludgeoning damage.

Scattered rocks, moorland heather, small streams

Uncertain and uneven footing, dense plants that obscure the ground, and small rivulets crossing the scene of a battle can all present challenges.

  • These count as difficult terrain (half move through the area).

Sloping terrain

A simple incline to the battlefield provides a tactical consideration as well as making the world feel a bit less like a flat battle map. Whether it’s part of a rolling grassy hill, a tussocked ridge, a stony promontory, a huge cavern with its own landscape, a tight pothole steeply angled into the ground, or upwardly winding passages, a slope might affect the whole battlefield or just a part of it. Different slopes might occur in different directions.

  • A shallow slope provides creatures on the higher ground with Advantage on attack rolls.

  • A steep slope additionally inflicts Disadvantage on attack rolls to creatures on the lower ground.

Sucking bog

A deep slimy expanse of rotted black leaf mould lies over deep, shifting, greasy soil.

  • Any creature crossing the bog must make a DC 12 Dexterity or Strength check. If they fail, they are considered Grappled every round until they can make the same check successfully, at which point they may exit the bog on any side.

  • A shove action can be used to push a creature adjacent to the sucking bog into it.

Tallgrass

Tallgrass Prarie grass is covered in grasses that are between 5 - 10 feet tallk.

  • Ranged attacks through a Tallgrass are made at Disadvantage, even at close range. Long range attacks cannot be made through a thicket.

  • TODO: Add something about Line of Sight being reduced.

Terrible stench, the scent of death

  • Creatures considered good who are affected have Disadvantage on ability checks and attack rolls.

Thick trunked trees

Thick trunked trees provide excellent cover and their twisted root masses can provide hiding places for the stealthy.

  • These can provide total cover – a creature behind a thick trunked tree cannot be targeted.

  • Creatures can hide behind or within the branches or roots of a thick trunked tree.

Thick fog, smoke, eerie mist

  • Creatures trying to navigate their way through these atmospheric conditions are considered to have the Blinded condition.

Thicket

Close-growing stands of trees, a thicket is typically dominated by birch or hawthorn, or younger trees like larch or elm.

  • Ranged attacks through a thicket are made at Disadvantage, even at close range. Long range attacks cannot be made through a thicket.

  • This counts as difficult terrain (half move through the thicket).

Unstable stalactites

Grown slowly in the dark over thousands of years, these stalactites are fractured and ready to collapse.

  • If combat comes within 10 feet of the unstable stalactites, there is a 1 in 6 chance each round that they will fall, showering everyone within a 10-foot radius with pieces of rock. Creatures within this radius suffer 5 (1d10) bludgeoning damage.

Unstable walls

Long years and the passing seasons have taken their toll on this once fine stonework. It is ready to topple at any moment.

  • Unstable walls provide half cover (+2 to AC and Dexterity saving throws).

  • These unstable structures are unsuitable for climbing.

  • A shove action allows a creature to push the wall onto other creatures on the other side. They must make a DC 13 Dexterity saving throw or suffer 11 (2d10) bludgeoning damage from falling masonry.

Warm golden sun, slanting rays of golden light, the sun breaks through the clouds

Creatures considered good are heartened by the appearance of the sun.

  • They gain Advantage on ability checks and attack rolls the next round, and Inspiration.

Webs

Great limp curtains of ancient Spider webs hang in the air in the silent depths of Mirkwood.

  • Any creature crossing the webs must make a DC 12 Dexterity or Strength check. If they fail, they are considered Grappled every round until they can make the same check successfully, at which point they may exit the web on any side.

Windowed walls

The remains of a wall may contain many small windows or a single large aperture.

  • Windowed walls provide half cover (+2 to AC and Dexterity saving throws).

  • These unstable structures are unsuitable for climbing.

Providence Scale (1 Mile Per Hex)

Terrain

Grasslands

There are 5 basic grassland types. Here is a basic description of each type.

  • Tallgrass (true) prairie - A hex with this grass will naturally grow up to 10 feet tall. If a given height is needed, roll 1d6+4 for the local height. This sort of grassland is considered difficult. This grassland will generally be home to grazing animals and the creatures that prey upon them. They will spend most of their time hiding in the grass.
  • Shortgrass prairie - A hex with this grass will naturally grow up to 18 inches. If a given height is needed roll a 3d6 to find the number of inches. This sort of grassland is considered a normal grassland. These grasslands are generally the first areas settled by civilization. Additionally these graasslands will be grazed by creatures in large herds that can protect themselves from prey with their numbers.
  • Mixed-grass prairie - A hex with this grass will be a combination of Short and Tall Grass praries. For heights see Tall and Short Grass. This sort of grassland is considered difficult.
  • Annual grassland - A Hex with this grass will grow simularly to the Shortgrass Prarie, but it will die in the winter and need to be reseeded again in the spring. By the end of summer this grass will have become brown and have died off.
  • High mountain grassland - A hex with this grass will grow at high elevations generally above 7000 feet. These grasslands are generally in valleys and on the sloaps of the mountains facing away from the sun (south facing in the northern hemisphere, north facing in the southern hemisphere). They are 2d6 inches in height.

Names for Grasslands managed by intelligent species: Farmland, Cultivation, Grazing Lands, Pastures,

Names for untouched Grasslands: Plain(256), Prairie(128), Savanna(64), Shrubs(32), Steppe(16), Field(8), Range(4), Veldt(2), Swarth (1)

Artic

Snow Fields, Ice Plains, Glaciers

Glacial, Artic/Antartic, Polar, Icy Wastes, Ice-coverd, Ice Plains, Drifts

Desert

Cactus, Bad Lands, Steppe, Sand Dunes,

  • Desert (arid) grassland - Shrubs will not grow here, but tufts of hearty grasses will grow. This grass is sparce and simular in nature to the annual and shortgrass found in prairies.

  • Shrub steppe - Shrubs and grasses will grow here. The grass is sparce and simular in nature to the annual and shortgrass found in prairies. See the description of the shrubs in the seciton on forests.

Mountains

Broken Lands, Rock Faces, Snowcaps,

Terrain features

A given hex may contain certai features that are in addition to the

Trails

A trail is usually a path, track, lane, road, footpath, walking trail, cattle trail, or game trail that is commonly usesd to facilitate easier travel through the wilderness.

Roads

A road is an imporved and manytimes paved or cobbled trail. These improvements make travel extremely easy regardless of the wilderness the road is going through.

Forest

A forest is a large area dominated by trees. There are more precise definitions of forest that take into account factors such as tree density, tree height, land use, and ecological function. There is no standard forest. A tree dominated region could be any one of the following:

  • Broeal forests

  • Tropical / subtropical moist forest
  • Tropical / subtropical dry forests
  • Sparse trees, savanna and shrublands

  • Temperate needleleaf forests
  • Temperate broadleaf foests*
  • Temperate Mixed forests

TODO: Cover Ground Cover in each type of forest.

Broeal forests occupy the subarctic zone and are generally evergreen and coniferous.

  • Temperate needleleaf forests mostly occupy the higher latitude regions, as well as high altitude zones and some warm temperate areas, especially on nutrient-poor or otherwise unfavourable soils. These forests are composed entirely of various pines.

Tropical forests and subtropical forests include tropical and subtropical moist forests, tropical and subtropical dry forests, and tropical and subtropical coniferous forests.

  • Tropical moist forest have many varities. The lowland evergreen broad leaf tropical rainforests. The peat swamp forests. There are also high altitude forests in moutains along the equator. The best description for these is either swamp or jungle. Typically these range from the rainforest zone 10 degrees north or south of the equator, to the heighest and lowest points the sun will move north and south during the seasons.
  • Tropical dry forests are characteristic of areas in the tropics affected by seasonal drought. The seasonality of rainfall is usually reflected in the deciduousness of the forest canopy, with most trees being leafless for several months of the year. However, under some conditions the proportion of evergreen species increases. Some forests called thorn forest are characterized by dense low stature thorny or spiny species trees and plants. These are found where drought is prolonged, and especially where grazing animals are plentiful. Eventually as the quality of the soil gets worse through overgrazing or fires, a savanna develops.
  • Sparse trees, savanna and shrublands are forests with lower canopy cover of trees. They occur principally in areas of transition from forested to non-forested landscapes. The two major zones in which these ecosystems occur are in the boreal region and in Trpical dry forests. A savanna is a mixed woodland grassland ecosystem characterized by the trees being sufficiently widely spaced so that the canopy does not close. The open canopy allows sufficient light to reach the ground to support an unbroken herbaceous layer consisting primarily of grasses. Savannas maintain an open canopy despite a high tree density. shrubs have persistent woody stems above the ground, and they are distinguished from trees by their multiple stems and shorter height. They can grow to 3d6 feet in height. Plants of many species may grow either into shrubs or trees, depending on their growing conditions.

Temperate forests support both broadleaf deciduous forests and evergreen coniferous forests. Warm temperate zones support broadleaf evergreen forests, including laurel forests.

  • Temperate needleleaf forests mostly occupy the higher latitude regions, as well as high altitude zones and some warm temperate areas, especially on nutrient-poor or otherwise unfavourable soils. These forests are composed entirely of various pines.
  • Temperate broadleaf foests include a substantial component of flowering boradleaf trees. They are generally characteristic of the warmer temperate latitudes, but can sometimes be found in cool temperate ones. They include such forest types as the mixed broadleaf deciduous forests.
  • Temperate Mixed forests include a substantial component of flowering boradleaf trees in addition to various pines. These forests typically border the transitiion between needleleaf and broadleaf forests.
Geographical Traits
Terrian
Weather
Plantlife
Wildlife
Survival
Hazards

Swamps

A swamp is a wetland that is forested. Many swamps occur along large rivers where they are critically dependent upon natural water level fluctuations. Other swamps occur on the shores of large lakes. Some swamps have dry-land protrusions called hammocks that are covered by aquatic vegetation or vegetation that tolerates periodic flooding. The water of a swamp may be fresh water, brackish water or seawater.

The True Swamp is a swamp that is populated with forest trees. This is a combination of a river, coastland, or lake with a Broeal, Tropical (Moist or Dry) Forests, or a Temperate Forest.

The Transitional Swamp is a swamp that is populated with shrub swamps. This is a combination of a river, coastland, or lake with a Savanna / Shrublands Forest.

Names for Swamps: bog, muskeg, Marsh, Moor, Wetlands

Lakes

Rivers

Coastlines

Beach, Reefs, Shoals,

Label Type of Terrian
Easy Normal Roads, Trails, Grasslands
Normal Difficult: Roads, Trails, Grasslands
Normal: Arctic, Coast, Desert, Forest, Hills, Lakes, Rivers, Swamp
Hard Difficult: Arctic, Coast, Desert, Forest, Hills, Lakes, Rivers, Swamp
Normal Mountains
Extreme Difficult Mountains
Transportation MPH Time Daily
Walking 3 MPH 8 hours 24 miles
Mule or donkey 3 MPH 8 hours 24 miles
Horse or pony 4 MPH 8 hours 32 miles
Warhorse 5 MPH 8 hours 40 miles
Farmer’s cart 2 MPH 8 hours 16 miles
Passenger wagon 3 MPH 8 hours 24 miles
Merchant’s caravan 3 MPH 8 hours 24 miles
Raft or barge 0.5 MPH 20 hours 10 miles
Rowboat 1.5 MPH 10 hours 15 miles
Sailing ship 2 MPH 24 hours 48 miles
Warship (sailed and rowed) 2.5 MPH 24 hours 60 miles
Longship (sailed and rowed) 3 MPH 24 hours 72 miles
Galley 4 MPH 24 hours 96 miles

† Farmer’s cart is a two-wheeled cart with mule designed for hauling vegetables.

‡ Passenger wagon is a covered wagon designed for carrying paying passengers. Available only between major destinations (e.g., large cities or trading ports).

Label Type of Terrian
Easy Normal Roads, Trails, Grasslands
Normal Difficult Roads, Trails, Grasslands, Normal Arctic, Coast, Desert, Forest, Hills, Mountains, Lakes, Rivers, Swamp
Hard Difficult Arctic, Coast, Desert, Forest, Hills, Mountains, Lakes, Rivers, Swamp, Normal Mountains
Extreme Difficult Mountains

Travel Pace and Effects

Terrain Pace Feet per minute Miles an Hour Hourly Travel Time Miles a day Minute a hex Hexs an Hour Hexes a Day Pace Effect (TBD)
Easy Fast 400 4 7.5 30 15 4 30 −5 penalty to passive Wisdom (Perception) scores
Easy Normal 300 3 8 24 20 3 24
Easy Slow 200 2 9 18 30 2 18 Able to use stealth
Normal Fast 200 2 7.5 15 30 2 15 −5 penalty to passive Wisdom (Perception) scores
Normal Normal 150 1.5 8 12 40 1.5 12
Normal Slow 100 1 9 9 60 1 9 Able to use stealth
Hard Fast 100 1 7.5 7.5 60 1 7.5 −5 penalty to passive Wisdom (Perception) scores
Hard Normal 75 0.75 8 6 80 0.75 6
Hard Slow 50 0.5 9 4.5 120 0.5 4.5 Able to use stealth
Extreme Fast 50 0.5 7.5 3.75 120 0.5 3.75 −5 penalty to passive Wisdom (Perception) scores
Extreme Normal 37.5 0.375 8 3 160 0.375 3
Extreme Slow 25 0.25 9 2.25 240 0.25 2.25 Able to use stealth

Kingdom Scale (6 Mile Per Hex)

Continent Scale (60 Mile Per Hex)

Stellar Scale

In Fantasy Role Playing Games it can not always be assumed that there is a Stellar scale. When at this scale, the goal isn’t to provide a map to allow travelers on the surface of the land mass a means of navigation. Instead it is to provide an overview of what the landmass looks like from space.

Flat

Spherical

Distance to the horizon

Based on the following formula.

where

d = distance to the horizon

h = height of the observer above sea level = 6 feet

R = radius of the Earth = 20,900,000 feet

Ring

Sphere

Hollow World

Alien Geometries